Former Florida Gators shine at 2013 Pro Day

Nineteen former Florida Gators football players – including five that have been off the team for more than a year – participated in Pro Day at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on a rain-covered Florida Field in Gainesville, FL on Tuesday.

Representatives from all 32 NFL teams were in attendance though many head coaches and general managers remained at their teams’ headquarters considering Pro Day was being held on the same day as the start of NFL free agency for the 2013 season.

“It’s an exciting time. That’s how Pro Day is supposed to look at Florida,” head coach Will Muschamp said after the event. “All 32 teams are here and that’s how it ought to be. As we continue to do a good job evaluating in recruiting and developing our players, which we will, our Pro Days will continue to look that way. Really proud of these guys that worked out today and appreciate all their contributions to the University of Florida. I want to congratulate our staff on doing an outstanding job developing these guys.”

“I think they’ve all worked extremely hard,” he continued. “They understand what’s at stake. These guys are at a great time in their life. Here they are the verge of playing in the arena on Sunday. That’s something, as you look at, you’re a football player and taking that next step. They understand what’s at stake. I’m proud of what I saw today just form the standpoint of how they worked and how they conducted themselves, the positive feedback I’ve gotten from general managers, head coaches, assistants and the National Football League of the character of our guys and how they handled themselves at the combine. All of it has been ultra-positive. I’ve been real pleased about that.”

Below are evaluations on and quotes from many of the Gators that participated on Tuesday. Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, linebacker Lerentee McCray and tight end Jordan Reed did not work out but will in a separate, private Pro Day event on March 22 in The Swamp. Reed did still participate in some on-field drills Tuesday.

Muschamp had nothing but high praise for Floyd when asked about him potentially going in the top five picks. “Turn on the tape,” he said. “The guy can anchor, he can play the run, he’s got great initial quickness, he can rush the passer. He’s everything you want from an inside player. The NFL teams, they don’t like to project. I’ve been there; I know. They want to see guys that play in 3-4 and 4-3. They’ve seen him play two-gap. They’ve seen him play nose. They’ve seen him play four-technique, They’ve seen him play one-gap, three-technique, five-technique, nine-technique. They’ve seen him play outside; they’ve seen him play inside.

“From a general manager prospective, talking to his owner and telling him he wants to spend money on a player – a clean player that has no issues off the field – that’s a very smart pick, in my opinion. You got a guy that can be a very dominating player that has got so many positive things surrounding him and he’s been exposed positionally to so many different things within our scheme.”

Other former Gators in attendance to root on the younger guys included wide receivers Reidel Anthony and Riley Cooper, defensive end Carlos Dunlap, linebacker Mike Peterson, running back Chris Rainey and linebacker Brandon Siler.

Safety Matt Elam

» NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock (via Florida’s website): “On tape he plays so close to the line of scrimmage, especially in their nickel package, he’s on the slot. He’s quick-footed, an aggressive tough kid. What I saw today was what I wanted to see, his ball skills, especially on deep balls. I could see him open his hips, take angles like a deep half or deep third. I thought he really helped himself today.”

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SIX BITS: combine, Demps, Lee, Donovan, Lochte

1 » The 2013 NFL Scouting Combine is now in the books. Though not all of the 10 Florida Gators invited participated in the full event, a handful did and looked quite good while doing so. Below are links to OGGOA‘s combine wrap-ups. Click the appropriate link to see how your favorite former Florida player performed.

Safeties Matt Elam and Josh EvansTuesday | Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd; linebackers Jon Bostic, Jelani Jenkins and Lerentee McCrayMonday | Running back Mike GillisleeSunday | Offensive tackle Xavier Nixon, kicker Caleb Sturgis, tight end Jordan ReedSaturday

2 » New England Patriots running back and Olympic silver medalist sprinter Jeff Demps wants to return to the track but do so without giving up football. According to agent Daniel Rose of Gridiron Sports, who did not return a request for comment from OGGOA but did send a tweet about the subject on Tuesday, Demps truly hopes that New England gives him permission to pursue both of his passions. “Jeff Demps has no intentions of leaving football. He loves doing both football and track. Representing Team USA in track and field in the Olympics and playing NFL football are an honor and privilege and Jeff Demps loves both,” he wrote. NFL.com‘s Ian Rapoport first reported the story and explained on NFL Network that “he plans to compete in an event in March and that calendar would run through August. They informed the Patriots of that this week. It’s possible the Patriots could work out a deal as Demps does want to play two sports. It’s a little too early to know a resolution on this but we do know he wants to play two sports.” Whether or not New England – or another NFL team – wants to give Demps that opportunity is an unknown at this point.

3 » While at NBA All-Star Weekend in Houston, TX a few weeks ago, Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee approached USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo about playing for Team USA in the upcoming 2014 FIBA World Cup and remaining on the team through the 2016 Rio Olympics. According to FOX Sports’ Chris Tomasson, Colangelo “said nothing is definite yet as far as Lee being among 20 to 24 players” invited to Las Vegas, NV for training camp from July 24-28. Chances are he will have that opportunity, however, as Lee trained with Team USA in preparation for the World Championships in 2010 and probably would have made the team if not for sustaining an injury that forced him to depart early.

Check out three more Gators news BITS…after the break!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: combine, Demps, Lee, Donovan, Lochte

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Florida Gators at the 2013 NFL Combine: Saturday

For the fourth-straight year, ONLY GATORS Get Out Alive continues our coverage of the 10 former Florida Gators participating in the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine (National Invitational Camp) at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.

The event, which is held for six days from Feb. 20-26, consists of more than 300 players being put through a series of drills, tests and interviews while more than 600 NFL personnel in attendance (including coaching staffs, executives, player personnel and medical staffs) look on and evaluate each of them. It amounts to the final job interview these athletes will participate in before the 2013 NFL Draft commences on April 25.

Offensive tackle Xavier Nixon (Group: 1 | Camp: OL41), kicker Caleb Sturgis (Group: 1 | Camp: PK12) and tight end Jordan Reed (Group: 3 | Camp: TE15) concluded their four days at the combine on Saturday by competing in the full workout (results below).

Running back Mike Gillislee (Group: 6 | Camp: RB13) completed his tests (results are not officially released) and participated in the bench press (results below).

Though they arrived Friday, action began for defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (Group: 7 | Camp: DL11) and linebackers Jon Bostic (Group: 9 | Camp: LB04), Jelani Jenkins (Group: 9 | Camp: LB12) and Lerentee McCray (Group: 9 | Camp: LB20) on Saturday when they were officially measured, completed their medical exams, met with the media and continued the interview process begun the previous day. From a scheduling standpoint, Floyd, Bostic, Jenkins and McCray will be on the same schedule over the weekend. They continue the interview process on Sunday when they also take the Wonderlic and other tests and perform on the bench press.

Safeties Matt Elam (Group 10 | Camp: DB12) and Josh Evans (Group 10 | Camp: DB13) arrived Saturday for orientation.

2013 NFL Combine: Thursday | Friday | Sunday | Monday | Tuesday

Check out Saturday’s results from the 2013 NFL Combine…after the break!
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Florida Gators at the 2013 NFL Combine: Friday

For the fourth-straight year, ONLY GATORS Get Out Alive continues our coverage of the 10 former Florida Gators participating in the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine (National Invitational Camp) at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.

The event, which is held for six days from Feb. 20-26, consists of more than 300 players being put through a series of drills, tests and interviews while more than 600 NFL personnel in attendance (including coaching staffs, executives, player personnel and medical staffs) look on and evaluate each of them. It amounts to the final job interview these athletes will participate in before the 2013 NFL Draft commences on April 25.

Though he arrived Thursday, action began for running back Mike Gillislee (Group: 6 | Camp: RB13) on Friday as he was official measured, completed his medical exams, met with the media and continued the interview process he began the previous day. From a scheduling standpoint, Gillislee will be on his own throughout the week. He continues the interview process on Saturday when he also takes the Wonderlic and other tests and performs on the bench press.

Offensive tackle Xavier Nixon (Group: 1 | Camp: OL41), kicker Caleb Sturgis (Group: 1 | Camp: PK12) and tight end Jordan Reed (Group: 3 | Camp: TE15) all completed their tests Friday (results are not officially released) and participated in the bench press (results below). Sturgis also completed his workout for NFL scouts, but kickers do not participate in the same drills as other players.

Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (Group: 7 | Camp: DL11) and linebackers Jon Bostic (Group: 9 | Camp: LB04), Jelani Jenkins (Group: 9 | Camp: LB12) and Lerentee McCray (Group: 9 | Camp: LB20) arrived Friday for orientation.

2013 NFL Combine: Thursday | Saturday | Sunday | Monday | Tuesday

Check out Friday’s results from the 2013 NFL Combine…after the break!
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Florida Gators at 2013 NFL Combine: Thursday

For the fourth-straight year, ONLY GATORS Get Out Alive begins our coverage of the 10 former Florida Gators participating in the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine (National Invitational Camp) at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.

The event, which is held for six days from Feb. 20-26, consists of more than 300 players being put through a series of drills, tests and interviews while more than 600 NFL personnel in attendance (including coaching staffs, executives, player personnel and medical staffs) look on and evaluate each of them. It amounts to the final job interview these athletes will participate in before the 2013 NFL Draft commences on April 25.

Players began arriving on Wednesday but action did not begin until Thursday when offensive tackle Xavier Nixon (Group: 1 | Camp: OL41), kicker Caleb Sturgis (Group: 1 | Camp: PK12) and tight end Jordan Reed (Group: 3 | Camp: TE15) were officially measured, completed medical exams, met with the media and continued the interview process they began the previous day.

Nixon, Sturgis and Reed will remain on mostly the same schedule throughout the week. The trio will continue interviews on Friday, take the Wonderlic and other tests and perform on the bench press. Sturgis will also workout on Friday with Nixon and Reed concluding their combine attendance on Saturday following the workout.

Running back Mike Gillislee (Group: 6 | Camp: RB13) arrived Thursday for orientation.

2013 NFL Combine: Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Monday | Tuesday

Check out Thursday’s results from the 2013 NFL Combine…after the break!
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SIX BITS: Purifoy, Floyd, Reed, Gillislee, Tebow

1 » Florida Gators sophomore cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy is no longer being charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana after the State Attorney’s Office dismissed his case due to lack of evidence. According to Gainesville, FL attorney Huntley Johnson, who spoke with The Gainesville Sun’s Robbie Andreu, “[Purifoy] never had any marijuana on him, therefore he was not guilty of possession of marijuana.” Purifoy was in the back seat of a blue Honda that was pulled over at 12:05 a.m. on Feb. 7 for a right-of-way violation. Upon pulling the car over, a Gainesville Police officer found “cannabis residue” on the pants of someone in the car and noticed someone throw “a cannabis cigarette out the window.” The officer later noticed “a baggie containing 2.5 grams of cannabis” by the emergency brake. All four passengers had been charged with a first-degree misdemeanor.

2 » Mike Jensen of The Philadelphia Inquirer penned a feature on Gators defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd that ran in Monday’s newspaper. Focused on Floyd looking back at his “hardscrabble Philly childhood,” it provides a bit more detail on what head coach Will Muschamp said to the player when they met concerning his potential departure from Florida one year early. “I sat down after the season with my coaches – before I said anything, they said, ‘Go, go into the draft this year; you had a hell of a year.’” Floyd also discusses problems he had at home. “I found out my father wasn’t my father, so I moved out, because of the way I was treated growing up,” he said. “I was abused. I’ve pretty much been beaten with everything you can think of, at a young age. On punishment for nothing. I remember I got beat for not getting in the shower fast enough.”

Check out four more Florida football BITS…after the break!
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10 Florida Gators invited to 2013 NFL Combine

OGGOA has learned that 10 former Florida Gators players have been officially invited to participate in the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine (National Invitational Camp) at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.

The event, which is held for six days from Feb. 20-26, consists of more than 300 players being put through a series of drills, tests and interviews while more than 600 NFL personnel in attendance (including coaching staffs, executives, player personnel and medical staffs) look on and evaluate each of them. It amounts to the final job interview these athletes will participate in before the 2013 NFL Draft commences on April 25.

The 10 former Gators student-athletes invited to the combine include:

Linebacker Jon Bostic – Group: 9 | Camp: LB04
Safety Matt Elam – Group 10 | Camp: DB12
Safety Josh Evans – Group 10 | Camp: DB13
Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd – Group: 7 | Camp: DL11
Running back Mike Gillislee – Group: 6 | Camp: RB13
Linebacker Jelani Jenkins – Group: 9 | Camp: LB12
Linebacker Lerentee McCray – Group: 9 | Camp: LB20
Offensive tackle Xavier Nixon – Group: 1 | Camp: OL41
Tight end Jordan Reed – Group: 3 | Camp: TE15
Kicker Caleb Sturgis – Group: 1 | Camp: PK12

Notable names left off the invite list include: wide receiver Frankie Hammond, Jr., WR/TE Omarius Hines, DT Omar Hunter and DT Earl Okine.

Read about each player’s day-to-day schedule in Indianapolis after the jump!
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1/18: Dunker suspended, more Gators leave, injury updates, Sugar Bowl review, 2013 preview

Florida Gators head football coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Friday to wrap up the 2012 season, look ahead to the upcoming spring practice and discuss some of the recent changes and issues within the program.

PUNISHMENT HANDED DOWN

Muschamp announced Friday that freshman offensive lineman Jessamen Dunker has been suspended indefinitely from all team activities pending the outcome of his legal affairs. Dunker was arrested Monday on a third-degree felony charge of grand theft of a motor vehicle as well as a second-degree misdemeanor charge of driving with a suspended license. He was released on his own recognizance on Thursday and claims that he paid $600 for the scooter not knowing it had been reported stolen.

“I met with Jessamen Dunker [Friday] morning. I have suspended him from all team activities until we get more information,” he said. “I just met to him face-to-face [Friday] morning for the first time for 15 minutes. Once we get a little bit more information, then we’ll move forward, but he’s suspended from the team at this time. We’ll address that further when I know more.”

THREE MORE GATORS LEAVING PROGRAM

It was also announced Friday by Muschamp that redshirt juniors wide receiver Stephen Alli and defensive lineman Kedric Johnson will both be graduating in the spring and moving on from the Florida football program.

Muschamp said that Alli plans to go to graduate school; should he remain at UF, he will have the opportunity to join the team as a graduate assistant. Johnson “may play somewhere [else] next fall,” Muschamp said, and the two are planning to discuss it.

Furthermore, redshirt freshman offensive lineman Tommy Jordan, who never stepped on the field for the Gators due to nagging shoulder problems, has applied for a medical exception to remain on scholarship but no longer play football.

CLEANING UP SOME INJURIES

Muschamp once again noted that redshirt junior right guard Jon Halapio (knee), redshirt sophomore right tackle Chaz Green (ankle) and redshirt sophomore linebacker Neiron Ball (ankle) all had scopes on their various injuries this month.

“We expect all three of those [players] to participate at some point in spring. I don’t know when that will happen, how much contact there will be. I’ll know more as we move forward,” he said.

Junior WR Solomon Patton (broken arm) is “doing really well,” according to Muschamp. He has already been cleared for non-contact work during the spring.

Additionally, sophomore punter Kyle Christy had minor shoulder surgery and will be fine for spring football. “He played pretty well with it. I don’t know why we did surgery, but they felt like he needed it,” Muschamp said.

Read the rest of what Muschamp had to say…after the break!
Continue Reading » 1/18: Dunker suspended, more Gators leave, injury updates, Sugar Bowl review, 2013 preview

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